12 January 2011
Vol 3, Issue 65

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ONLINE COVER Target Brain, Ease Pain. Shown are synaptic contributors to long-term potentiation (LTP) in neurons of the brain's anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Studies in animal models of chronic pain show that synapses of ACC neurons undergo changes in response to insults and that LTP participates in these pain-related renderings. In this issue of Science Translational Medicine, Wang and colleagues report on a selective antagonist of calcium-stimulated adenylate cyclase (AC1), an enzyme that is induced in subsets of central nervous system neurons during the development of neuropathic pain. Blocking of AC1 stems mechanical hypersensitivity in a mouse model of neuropathic pain without affecting the acute pain response or cognitive and motor functions. These features make AC1 a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of chronic pain. See also the accompanying Perspective by Sharif-Naeini and Basbaum. [CREDIT: C. BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE]